The groundbreaking black discovery will be presented by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team today (Wednesday, April 10). Astronomers will unveil the picture during press conferences held in six major cities around the globe. The announcements are scheduled to kick off simultaneously at 2pm BST (1pm UTC) and the black hole picture will be shared minutes after. You can follow one of the press events as it unfolds in the English live stream below, courtesy of the European Research Council and European Commission.
Watch the black hole picture reveal online here
The European Commission, the European Research Council and the Event Horizon Telescope will host a conference today in Brussels, Belgium.
The press event will begin at 3pm Central European Time at the Berlaymont Building, which is the headquarters of the European Commission.
You can watch the event in its entirety through the YouTube video player below.
The European Research Council said in a statement: “The event will be introduced by European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, and will feature presentations by the researchers behind this result.”
During the conference, scientists will answer questions from social media, submitted via the hashtag #AskEHTeu.
Due to the monumental significance of the black hole study, six conferences in multiple languages will be held today.
The conferences will take place in Brussels in Belgium, Tokyo in Japan, Washington DC in the US, Santiago in Chile, Taipei in Taiwan, Lyngby in Denmark and Shanghai in China.
All of the events will kick off at the exact same time to ensure the black hole picture is unveiled everywhere at once.
Find out how to watch the black hole announcement in Chinese and Japanese here.
How did the ETH take a picture of a black hole?
Photographing a black hole is virtually impossible because light which falls past a black hole’s event horizon cannot escape its gravitation pull.
However, astronomers behind the ETH have worked around this by linking the world’s most powerful radio telescopes to target the space around Sagittarius A* – the supermassive black hole in the middle of the Milky Way galaxy.
The resulting photo is expected to produce a “silhouette” of the black hole rather than a direct observation.
The ETH is not a single giant space telescope or observatory but rather an international collaboration of radio telescopes.
The ETH explained: “By linking together existing telescopes using novel systems, the EHT leverages considerable global investment to create a fundamentally new instrument with angular resolving power that is the highest possible from the surface of the Earth.
“Over the coming years, the international EHT team will mount observing campaigns of increasing resolving power and sensitivity, aiming to bring black holes into focus.”
The target of the ETH’s observation sits approximately 26,000 light-years from our home planet or 152,844,260,000,000,000 miles (245,978,990,000,000,000km).
To put this into perspective, the Sun is only about 93 million miles (149.6 million km) from Earth.
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